There was an NBA game played tonight in Cleveland, but elsewhere – in parts where Agent 0 is throwing up jumpers in an empty gym- the Scripps National Spelling Bee took center stage. As Lebron James took care of business, so did Kavya Shivashankar, taking home the coveted trophy and title that went with it. As both events were going on simultaneously, James from DinoNation Blog threw out the question, “Which NBA player would win the spelling bee?”
I went with the Poet – Etan Thomas and he went with Shane Battier. Soon after, I posed the question to my twitter followers and the answers came in a flurry. I put together a list of top 10 players and a reason why they made the list. Feel free to add to the list in the comments section.
Emeka Okafor: His major at UConn was Finance and he graduated with honors in 3 years with a 3.8 GPA. Okafor was named the Academic All-American of the Year in 2004 for his work on and off the court. (H/T @bothteamsplayed )
Chris Bosh: Bosh was a National Honors Society member and graduated with honors from Lincoln High School. He is also a member of the National Society of Black Engineers but left Georgia Tech after only 1 year to join the NBA.
Grant Hill: He completed all 4 years at Duke University and put together a book to boot!
Tim Duncan: He majored in Psychology at Wake Forest where he lived out a promise to his mother to graduate with a college degree. He is most definitely known as the most stoic player in the NBA and just exudes that “wise beyond his years” vibe. (H/T @stackmack)
Shane Battier: He was the most popular answer and statements about his interest in politics just make him the guy you want leading your spelling bee team. As a side gig he is also the Tech Editor of HOOP magazine.
Adonal Foyle: Another budding poet, political activist and contributor to HOOP magazine – he holds the post of Literary Editor. Foyle may not be all that on the court but he did graduate Magna Cum Laude from Colgate Univesity, with a degree in History.
Steve Nash: A graduate of Santa Clara University, Nash is known more for his Humanitarian work and was given Canada’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada. (H/T @RapsFan)
Mark Madsen: Stanford Graduate in Economics. Went to Spain as a missionary after High School and became fluent in Spanish. Plays Chess and loves to read and study Finance in his spare time.
Dikembe Mutumbo (Dikembe Mutumbo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jaques Wamutumbo): Intended to be a doctor, Speaks 9 languages and can spell his own name…. need I say more! In honor of his humanitarianism, Mutombo was invited to President Bush’s State of the Union Address in 2007.
Runners Up: Josh Childress (you gotta be smart to go to Stanford right?), Anthony Parker (chosen by @Scottph), OJ Mayo (He scored a 29 on the ACT, placing him in the 95th percentile nationally – chosen by @stackmack) Arron Afflalo (chosen by @isaiahk) , Kobe Bryant (Speaks 3 languages fluently and never went to college… HELLO!) Roger Mason Jr. (Graduated with a degree in Architecture – speaking from experience he has to be on the list!)
On the subject of spelling bee’s, the NBA has a fair amount of players who have names that could make the list in the final round of the National Spelling Bee. We hear announcers butchering these names on the regular and many of their own teammates would have a tough time spelling them with a 2 minute shot clock!
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Give it a try….